Today is the last day of April which also means the return of FredFest is less than 4 days away and organizers have revealed this year’s beer list. Now in it’s 9th year, FredFest will take place on Sunday, May 4th at Hair of the Dog Brewery and Tasting Room.
This annual event celebrates the 88th birthday of Fred Eckhardt, the Dean of American Beer Writers. Eckhardt is the man that was writing about homebrewing years before it was even legal to do so. He has given so much to what we now take for granted in today’s craft beer world. Now its time to give back to him and his great charities.
As with past FredFest’s, this year is sure to sell out so organizers, Lisa Morrison, Alan Sprints, and Preston Weesner, decided to mix things up a bit with this year’s installment. FredFest will now be held in two sessions. The first session will take place from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the Sold Out second session runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. We here at Brewpublic are excited for this change and feel that this new setup will smooth things along quite nicely.
However, this is not the only change at FredFest. This year there will be a large tent out in front of Hair of the Dog for attendees to drink and eat in. This should be something similar to what was done at the brewery’s 20th Anniversary Party this past fall. And to get more people excited for Fred’s 88th birthday, admission has decreased. Last year the cost to enter was $75 and this year it has decreased to $60 per person, per session. Both sessions will feature the same beers. Just make sure to order your tickets early since there will only be 300 tickets available per session and the second session is already sold out. You can still purchase tickets to the first session in advance from clicking here.
Entry includes a FredFest collectable tasting glass, access to a rare collection of hand-curated beers, light fare and, of course, birthday cake, complete with a round of singing “Happy Birthday” to Fred. Cheeses, chocolate, candy and even cereal will be offered in abundance so attendees can experience some of Fred’s more infamous beer-and-food pairings. Attendees will also be able to sample beers and here the great stories as Eckhardt can only tell.
This year’s event will have 16+ unique beers created by some of Oregon and the Northwest’s most celebrated breweries. This is a rare opportunity to get to try beers of this caliber at a single event, all vying to best answer the perennial question, “What Would Fred Drink?” (WWFD?). As in year’s past one will not be disappointed with the beers that have been secured for FredFest. This year’s FredFest will feature the following beers:
- Breakside Brewing – Apollo and Dionysus. (Gin BBL aged Saison with spices)
- BridgePort Brewing – Old Knucklehead
- Cascade Brewing – Special Fredtastical (one off keg blend)
- Commons Brewing – Little Brother – Belgian Dark Strong
- Craftsman Brewing – TBD
- Deschutes Brewing – Bellmore Sour Quad AND Black Butte XXIV
- Ecliptic Brewing – Arcturus IPA
- Fremont Brewing – Bourbon Abominable (2013)
- Fort George Brewing – North VII – Bourbon BBL aged Belgian IPA
- Full Sail Brewing – 2009 Black Gold Bourbon Stout
- Hair of the Dog Brewing – TBD (Firkin)
- Hopworks Urban Brewing – British Invasion UK IPA
- Laurelwood Brewing – (Blend) – Spiced Quad
- Lompoc Brewing – 2013 Cherry Christmas (Cherry sour beer)
- Luck Labrador Brewing – TBD (Vintage from the cellar)
- New Belgium Brewing – (Blend) – Apple Whiskey Bier Mars
- McMenamins Brewing – Vityaz Russian Imperial Stout
- Stone Brewing – Red wine barrel aged Cali-Belgique
- Widmer – Fred requested, the original, Widmer ALT
Any additions and/or changes to the beer list can be found at fredfestpdx.com/the-beers
The origins of FredFest began 9 years ago when Eckhardt was set to turn 80 years old. It was a surprise party for him that gained more traction every year since. FredFest has now become a significant fundraiser for the nonprofit organizations that FredFest selects each year. This year’s fundraising recipients include:The Hair of the Dog “house” charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind; International Medical Corps, in memory of Mark Wilson, the husband of Hair of the Dog’s Wendy Sprints, and the Oregon Brew Crew’s OSU Bob McCracken Scholarship, for Fermentation Sciences students.
FredFest is all volunteer-driven, which means that 100 percent of this year’s net proceeds from FredFest will be donated to those charitable organizations. Dubbed “the littlest big-beer festival in the world — or at least in Portland,” FredFest has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Eckhardt’s selected nonprofits in the past eight years of its existence. This makes attending FredFest all the better!
Happy Birthday Fred!
Hair of the Dog Brewery and Tasting Room
61 SE Yamhill
Session One: 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Session Two: 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.